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  • American Chamber of Commerce in Germany e.V.
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  • Patricia Limburg
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Ford, Opel, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhilips Top AmCham Germany's Ranking of Top- Selling US Companies

(lifePR) (Frankfurt am Main, ) .
- Skilled Worker Shortage: Germany Attractive, but Bureaucratic Hurdles Must be Reduced
- Top-Executive-Survey: Varied Opinions on the Sustainability of the Recovery

Today the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (abbreviated "AmCham Germany") released its annual sales-based ranking of the largest US companies and subsidiaries in Germany.

Leading the way - Ford, Opel, ExxonMobil

Automaker Ford ended 2009 with 16.995 billion euros in sales in Germany. With this figure Ford again tops this year's ranking of the top-selling companies with American capital in Germany. Fellow automobile manufacturer Opel earned second place with 12 billion euros in sales in Germany. ExxonMobil Central Europe Holding GmbH ("Esso") rounded out the top three with 10.7 billion euros of sales in Germany (including petroleum tax). The top three compared to the previous year: Ford-Werke also topped the list with 19.7 billion euros in sales in 2008. Opel moved up from third to second place despite sales dropping from an estimated 13 billion euros. ExxonMobil, second place in last years ranking, earned 15.2 billion euros in sales in 2008.

Overall sales growth weakened in 2009

Total revenues of the TOP50-US-Companies in Germany dropped 10 percent in comparison to the previous year's ranking, from 162 billion euros in 2008 to 147 billion in 2009. This reflects the lingering effects of the financial crisis: 53 percent of US companies recorded a drop in sales in 2009 (source AmCham Germany Business Barometer released in April 2010). In 2008 overall sales growth also dipped 5.8 percent in comparison to figures from 2007.

Positions four to ten

ConocoPhillips Germany ("Jet") ranked fourth in 2009 sales with 10.4 billion euros (including petroleum tax). Following in fifth place was GE Deutschland with 9.4 billion euros in Sales and in sixth place IBM Gruppe with 9.3 billion euros. Tobacco company Philip Morris came in seventh place with 6.16 billion euros in sale (including tobacco tax). Procter & Gamble Germany, with an estimated 4.7 billion euros in sales, achieved eighth place. Hewlett-Packard, with 4.5 billion euros in sales, and Dow Gruppe Deutschland, with 4.1 billion euros in sales, rounded out the top ten in places nine and ten, respectively.

(For the complete TOP50 ranking, please see the separate chart)

Largest US employers - McDonald's, Ford, Burger King McDonald's Deutschland employs 60,000 in Germany to top the ranking of the largest US employers, followed by Ford-Werke with 23,862 employees and Burger King with an estimated 23,000. Five of the companies making the TOP50 ranking each employ over 20,0000 people in Germany (McDonald's, Ford-Werke GmbH, Burger King GmbH, IBM Gruppe and Adam Opel). Together they represent nearly 150,000 jobs in Germany.

The largest employers in Germany amongst the TOP50- Companies are (according to company information and number of employees in Germany):

1. McDonald's Deutschland Inc. 60.000 (including franchises)
2. Ford-Werke GmbH 23.862
3. Burger King GmbH 23.000 (estimate, including franchises)
4. IBM Gruppe 21.100 (estimate)
5. Adam Opel 20.000 (estimate, including Eisenach)
6. Procter & Gamble 15.000
7. United Parcel Service 14.000 8. Coca-Cola Deutschland 12.000 (estimate)
9. TRW Automotive GmbH 10.550
10. Hewlett-Packard 8.525

The basis for this list consists of businesses' responses to AmCham Germany survey questions or estimates made by AmCham Germany which are noted above. This list includes only the US companies that were polled within the Top 50 survey.

Attracting qualified employees from abroad crucial to filling the future need of highly skilled workers

More than half of the TOP50-US-Companies (58 percent) believe their demand for qualified workers will not be met in the future. The working environment and the job market are in transition.

Demographical changes have many consequences for companies and their employees, including:

- the aging of society and of operating personnel,
- longer working-life of employees,
- increased importance of knowledge and competence as a competitive advantage,
- enhanced efforts to stay up-to-date with technical knowledge
- consideration of various generations in the job market and
- a decreasing proportion of trainees with a parallel increase in the demand for qualified employees.

To help attract more qualified employees from abroad, the government must reduce the bureaucratic hurdles preventing highly skilled foreign workers from choosing to work in Germany. Highly qualified immigrants are economically successful and contribute to general prosperity, including creating new direct and indirect jobs, also for locals.

To achieve this goal, AmCham Germany supports:

- recognition of qualified degrees and training programs, both from the skilled employee and their accompanying spouse,
- the possibility to transfer pension claims internationally,
- an eased process for recognizing and/or transferring driver's licenses,
- tax relief for relocation and school fees,
- residence permits for family members and partners and
- the reduction of the income limit at which a highly skilled individual receives a settlement permit.

In regards to the settlement permit, AmCham Germany supports the decrease in 2009 from 86,400 euros to 64,800 euros, but believes this is still too high. An income limit suitable to the German market would be one comparable to the Netherlands, where an annual income of 49,000 euros is necessary for a residence of up to five years. For those under 30 years of age the limit is further dropped to 36,000 euros, an attractive salary for young highly skilled employees.

Half of US companies question the sustainability of the recovery

Germany's GDP is expected to grow by 3.6 percent this year. AmCham Germany surveyed the top executives of American companies in Germany about their opinions to this statistic. The results were split, as half (48%) answered yes to the question, "do you believe that the current economic boom is sustainable," with the other half (51%) answering no, showing that many companies remain apprehensive in the market.

The recovery has, however, strengthened the image of Germany abroad. The majority of surveyed executives (62 percent) confirmed that the investment location Germany had gained prestige in the eyes of their US parent company.

When asked about the reasons for Germany's current upswing, the company representatives agreed on several factors: Short-time work (Kurzarbeitergeld - 75 percent) was named most often.

Other factors, such as a strong export market (57 percent), the farsightedness and flexibility of companies (53 percent) and the crisis management of the German government (48 percent), were all seen to strengthen Germany's recovery.

The executives also voiced their opinions on the necessary next steps to sustain the recovery: consolidating the federal budget (62 percent), simplifying the tax system, not necessarily tax relief (55 percent) and efficient plans for future problems, such as the anticipated shortage of highly skilled workers (49 percent).

Additionally, companies believe that we must not be content with the current positive statistics and need to continue progressing economically (60 percent).

Participants in the survey were top executives representing the top selling companies in Germany with over 50 percent American capital. Sixty companies participated in the survey.

With approximately 3000 members, AmCham Germany is the largest bilateral economic association in Europe. The Chamber acts as a communication bridge to investors in the United States. The promotion of the German-American economic relationship and Germany's economic situation are at the forefront of our efforts.